Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hard to Pray When I Feel Unworthy

I have to begin by reminding myself that this blog is for me, for my recovery, and not to entertain, enlighten, or help anybody else who happens to stop by.

I've been reading Terry, an account of an alcoholic girl/woman, written by her father after her death at age 45 by passing out, intoxicated, in the snow one freezing night. It's an agonizing read. Terry was charming in many ways, and she tried many, many times to kick the monkey off her back, with little success. It's agonizing because in so many ways I am like Terry, older and not dead yet, but like her, with brief periods of abstinence and long, long periods of abuse.

Right now almost all of my addictions are in full flare up. Alcohol is the one that so far I have avoided. Food. Oh how the food substances have been pouring down my throat, my body screaming to stop, my mind playing its usual tricks. Why do I always fall for it? Why do I always believe that tomorrow will be better? Why do I always think if I eat it all, every crumb on hand, that the next day I can stop?

Terry suffered from depression as well as alcoholism. That's a bit true for me too, although I've never sought counseling for it or medication. I don't quite believe in it either, at least not for general depression and non-specific anxiety. Maybe one of the lies I tell myself is that my depression is seasonal, or occasional, or not so severe as to need help with it.

I still go to OA meetings, feeling more and more guilty, as I mouth nice words about "turning it over," and then come home to my cupboards and refrigerator. Yet going to OA meetings may be my one remaining link to sanity.

For months I've been saying I will listen again to my CDs of the Big Book. I don't do it. My clothes don't fit. I feel horrible. I'm not exercising... not at all.... not even the shortest walk.

Is it helping or hindering to keep reading about Terry? I don't know. I find it compelling on  one hand, the hard grip of the disease so totally unbreakable for her... At the same time, because I see myself shackled to her, it's pretty depressing.

With very brief periods of sticking to a food plan and abstinence, I've been on an ever-increasing spiral of relapse for 2 full years. The weight gain is horrible, yes. But even worse is the self-loathing, lying, binging, and laziness that comes along with compulsive overeating and other compulsive behaviors (like playing games on the computer all day).

It's so hard to pray when I feel unworthy.

Nasty spiral.


  1. You are so right. This blog IS for you. You are in a low place, typical of the holidays. You need to seek help for your depression. So many are in denial, when medication can make a world of difference. My brain does not make enough Serotonin. For me, Zoloft was the cure. Without it, I can't function in so many ways. Maybe not your answer, but you are cheating yourself if you don't seek an answer that could be medical.

    Get outside and move!! Make exercise your new addiction. 20 days in a row and you'll have a new habit, but at least it will be a good habit. I remember your story about the were walking then. Reconnect with the Universe...and clean out your cabinets. Put Terry in the recycle box and find a happy book. Give yourself a kick in the ass.

    1. Thank you, Carol. Yes, get outside and move... what a great antidote. I'll carry your support and encouragements with me.

  2. One moment at a time. And in this moment, despite how you are feeling, I will hold this thought for you: you ARE worthy. We are all worthy. Blessings on you.

    1. Thanks Amy, I so appreciate your blessings, and definitely agree in principle... we ARE all worthy. I believe it about everyone else, why not me too?!

  3. You ARE worthy. Long response here because it seems your post is a cry for help. It's your blog and thank you for sharing your honesty and pain. I don't know that reading the book about Terry is the best choice for your time. Maybe you identify with her or with the pain and love that her family member is suffering over her. I don't know.

    I don't think OA was the answer for me.... It was for me at one point in my life but then it wasn't. The program where I live changed a great deal because a lot of eating disorder programs don't follow the restrictive OA mindset of abstinence. Intuitive eating and food normalization seems to be more prevalent---totally opposite from the OA concept. If it's the only thing helping you then I wouldn't want to say forget it. It just seems you are in a cycle of disease where you follow strict abstinence and then loss of control One swing of the pendulum to another . Wouldn't it be better to have the pendulum sitting more in the middle, balanced versus extremes. That's what the therapists / nutritionists in my support systems recommend for me.

    If you've never believed in therapy or medication for depression and / or anxiety , but you are struggling because you are depressed, anxious, and acting compulsively , then maybe you need to try something new. Try something new might be getting help such as therapy and / or meds. Seeking out eating disorder treatment versus OA. For you that means travel elsewhere , I know.

    I wouldn't be here if I didn't reach out and get therapy and meds. I'm not cured or healed. I still struggle. I'm still overweight. But I have many periods of peace and joy and just feeling ok 'normal' with food and life. I screw up and I get right back on it sometimes the same day or the next day.

    I looked up what Einstein said " the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result." That quote has always led me towards changing my behavior and seeking the kind of help that helps versus doing the same things.

    My hope is this will give you something to think over. To get better. To have some desire to change, to take a walk and smell evergreens or snow or the sea or see Christmas lights. To Feel Renewed.

    While I have never been to this program , I think this site can help you see how to work towards a different relationship with your self and food ..see . Also, this nutritionist's blog may be helpful ( I have worked with her on Skype) .

    These blogs help me as well when I am struggling

    I wish you peace, forgiveness, care, and self love.

    1. PJ!!! What a dear friend you are to take the time and put the thought into writing such a wonderful, helpful, and personal reply to my post. You are right... I am asking for help and, perhaps even more, for understanding. I feel both coming from you. I don't have words to adequately let you know how much I appreciate you, how grateful I am for this association with you. Thank you.

  4. Well, it seems that PJ covered most everything I was thinking about. And I agree with Carol on perhaps it's time to get a book that makes you feel lifted up, rather than down. So, dear Robin, I'll just say this: I care. I've never met you in person, but I know if we did, we'd be friends. And have lots in common.

    Just today, I was feeling like I had gotten too close to the cliff edge. Below, was hopelessness, regret, sadness, and lots of other stuff. And there I sat, too close for safety. I knew I needed to DO something. Anything. Something that was FOR me. Something good, something healthy.

    I didn't feel like it. But I was at a Facebook group I recently joined, that has a very upbeat spirit, a generous and encouraging atmosphere. And they were just today asking if anyone wanted to sign up for the "Step it up" plan, where we each try to move more daily, and tally all our steps together, sort of like a fun team spirt.

    And I joined. I've gone so downhill physically, that I'm now stuck ALL the time in the powerchair. (remember "use it or lose it"?) But the physical therapist showed me recently how to do "sit walking" exercises...

    And I've been stalling getting on a regular exercise schedule at home. I knew it was good for me. I knew I NEEDED to do it. But I didn't.

    So I signed up, knowing if I did, I would DO it, because I promised to, and would be reporting my steps to the team. That little push; that extra incentive, it what I needed to get off dead center, and get me going.

    I think PJ had some wonderful suggestions, and if you found something that resonated with you, and DID it in a way that connected you with someone, a professional, or a knowledgeable group you trusted/felt comfortable with, it might give you a healthy type accountability/support system that could lift you UP, and keep you going when you would rather not try. And I really do know how that feels! I recently had to re-think my whole approach to nutrition, and be willing to be a student yet again. But what I was doing was no longer working, and at the right time, the right information came to me. I might be going at a snails pace, but at least I'm going. And this time, I'm making teensy changes at a time, taking a gentle approach.

    Sorry this is so long... I guess I just care, and are reaching out to meet YOU reaching out.

    Sending you big hugs this holiday season, Robin.

    PS: and have you read today's post by Sean Anderson? It touched me... his whole point was "Don't give up". He lost his way for awhile, and talks about getting things turned around. Perhaps you would find it encouraging.

    1. Retta, I always feel love and understanding coming from you, and always it lifts me. I very much like hearing about the positive things you are doing... teensy changes, a gentle approach... It nourishes me just to read it. Sending love and hugs back your way. Robin


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